N64 Upgrade RGB Amp Kit Installation Instructions

SAFETY:
Please take proper safety precautions when dealing with electronics and soldering. Have proper ventilation and a clean work area. Research basic soldering technique if in doubt.  I cannot be held responsible for any damages that could occur to you or your equipment while following  the procedures present on this Website.  





Why Upgrade?
The N64 did not output RGB when released. Once upgraded the N64 puts out the best analog video signal possible.

Special Note: This RGB amp only works for the early N64 consoles. These are indemnified by the serial number located on the bottom.  Look for numbers starting with NS1XXXX.  These early model contain compatible mothers boards marked NUS-03 & NUS-04

Sync: This amp is designed for user that prefer sync on luma cables (most popular).  NUS-03 motherboards has CSNYC output but some users have reported compatibility issues. N64 consoles will out composite video as sync but most user do not prefer that sync method.  The PCB has a pad for Csync but this is intended for SNES Jr installs. In the future I will post relaible csync mods for the N64.

This Kit can be purchased from my store here

Supplies Needed:
- N64 RGB cable. N64 RGB consoles work best with "sync on luma" style RGB cables.
- Small piece of electrical tape.
- Soldering skills!
- The 4.5mm bit that opens the console(I sell these in my store)
- Philips head screwdriver
- Soldering iron & solder

Read this Awesome "Soldering is Easy – Comic" for Basic 101s of soldering click here.

Installation:
Start by removing all 4.5 bit screws from the bottom side of console. There are six total. Also remove the jumper pack before separated console shell.


Next, Remove all screws around the motherboard as shown in photo (red dots only). Make note of different screws sizes and keep them organized.  View my photo for reference.

Now it is time to prep the RGB amp.  The back side of the board has no exposed conductive metal.  Though to insure reliability I prefer adding a piece of electrical tape to the section shown in the photo.




Next,  Place the RGB Amp over the multi-out pins. Make sure it slides over all the pins.
For the sake of simplicity, solder all the pins down to the pcb.  In the near future I will update which pins are actually active in the circuit.




Next, locate this spot on the motherboard:
This location is very important, study it closely before soldering. Each hole is labeled on the motherboard. R8=Red output , R9=Green output, R10=Blue output. If this location is not on your motherboard you do not have an early NS1 N64.


Soldering hookup wire:  Measure and cut the wires to proper length and solder them to the corresponding pads on the Amp. Most prefer to strip the wire and slightly twist the strands. Next add a small amount of solder to wire tip. Trim wire tips to very small 2-3mm in bare length. Using long wires in the R8/R9/R10 vias will cause malfunction and touch another IC chip.

Do this to every wire before soldering to it's location. This is called "tinning" your wire. Very important step and makes you installation cleaner and more reliable.



Solder each wire to the locations shown. Beware of large blobs of solder, work patiently.
Avoid long leads and do not allow uninsulated wire to touch surrounding parts on the motherboard.


Next add a small amount of solder to each RGB pad on the pcb amp.




Next, solder each R/G/B wire to the corresponding amp pad. Keep the wire tips short to avoid hitting the metal RF shield when replaced.

Amp Pads Explained
R=Red Input
G=Green Inout
B=Blue

Y= Luma (Ignore, only relevant on SNES Svideo enabled amps)
C= Chromo (Ignore, only relevant on SNES Svideo enabled amps)
CS=CSNYC (Ignore, only relevant on SNES installs)

When finished your installation should look like this.  



Now it is time to replace the bottom metal shielding.  The Amp is very slim and designed to rest beneath the edge of the shielding as seen in the photo. Make sure your wires are soldering with short tips and not touching the underside of metal shielding. If the shielding is hitting the amp or wire you can gently bend the shielding tab out of the way.




Remember, the memory module has to be plugged in, or the N64 will not boot.

Done!  Reassemble your console and start testing some games!

Updates in the world of RGB Modding.
Myself and many other customers prefer the look of the RGB output from this mod.  Though not all monitors and RGB setups are the same. Some users have found the RGB video too bright. If it's too bright for you, try adding 75 Ohm resistors to the input pins of the THS7314 Amp circuit.

2 comments:

  1. Wesley,

    I installed this RGB mod on my N64 (NS1- NUS03 board), but it's not displaying correctly- the brightness is way high and i'm seeing an 'x pattern' effect on the shaded graphics in games. I used this in conjunction with HD Retrovision's RGB cable. I did the same mod on my SNES Mini using the same cable and it came out perfect!

    I'm assuming this is issue i'm having is in regards to the Sync issue you highlight above for the 64. Do you have any details you can release on the Sync issue and how to correct what i'm experiencing to correct this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These mods have been tested with HD Retrovision's cables by the cable designers. In-fact RetroFixes is on their website as the approved modder.

      Sync is not the issue.

      If the RGB amp is not working with the HD cables I would assume customer installation error. Double check your soldering.

      Delete

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